Three civilians were injured earlier this week whilst attending a wedding party in Azerbaijan's Terter Region, close to the line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the Karabakh conflict zone. Azerbaijani military sources accused the Armenian military of targeting a wedding tent where local citizens, many of them elderly people, were attending a celebration. The incident happened in the village of Qapani on Monday, 1 September. Among those injured is a child. Armenia has denied the incident.
There has been a sharp reaction by Azerbaijan following the incident. A spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry described the incident as a serious violation of international humanitarian law. Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev told journalists that international humanitarian law strictly forbids any direct and deliberate assault on civilians. Hajiyev noted that "this deliberate act of the Armenian armed forces is a war crime according to international criminal law".
The matter was also raised by the Deputy Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Bahar Muradova. Muradova said that despite the ceasefire agreement between the two countries, people do not live in peace at all and daily provocations of this kind on the front line occur frequently, harming people’s lives and property. Muradova said every incident of this kind raises concerns and reminds everybody that the Karabakh conflict is a threat to peace not only in the region but worldwide. Muradova called on the OSCE Minsk Group co-Chair to do more to eliminate such incidents and to bring a about a resolution of the conflict.
photo: The entrance to Azerbaijan's terter Region (archive picture).
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.
An incident at a military facility of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic resulted in three Armenian soldiers killed and one seriously injured. It is not clear what the exact circumstances of the incident were, but for the moment it is being treated as an accident.